Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

Archive for April, 2011

Ideas for the city and other end of week links

Posted by shannonclark on April 8, 2011

A few links and notes at the end of the week.

The city of San Francisco, or at least a few organizations here in SF have asked for ideas from residents. I submitted one suggesting that the Mayor’s office talk with BART about extending hours of service to at least one hour longer than the bars are allowed to be open. If you like that idea follow the link and vote for my idea or one of the many other good ones.

At the beginning of this week I had the pleasure of attending the Data 2.0 Conference held here in San Francisco, while there Twitter announced a new partnership with MediaSift to offer DataSift which offers powerful filters applied on demand to the full firehose of Tweets. As a new alternative way to filter and analyze Twitter at highly affordable rates DataSift will likely play a role in some of the ventures I am working on at the moment where the ability to search against Twitter and detect trends and perform other analyzes against the full firehose will be a useful addition to other research we are doing. I suspect that in the coming weeks and months many businsses will find creative and innovative ways to build on top of Datasift.

On a personal note I spent this last week unpacking from my recent move and on Sunday I will be having a garage sale with my girlfriend and some nearby friends. To see the updated listing for the garage sale take a look at my Craigslist post (link good until the post expires).

This has been a busy week my new venture is progressing well and taking on some exciting dimensions and I have been approached by an old client to do some consulting work ahead of a major event for his new organization.

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late night update on tools for a move

Posted by shannonclark on April 5, 2011

So as many of you may know last week I moved from my apartment of a bit over four years into my girlfriend’s home, still here in SF but a move is a move and requires lots of sorting, packing, boxing and unboxing. Most of that is behind us (though a few boxes remain to unpack) and I will likely write a longer blog post about the move process, this is just a quick post to highlight one service and one iPhone application which have both been exceptionally useful in this process.

The service – EcoHaul this is a service which for a fee based on the portion of their truck you fill will come to your house and haul away nearly anything which they will then sort and donate to charity or ecologically recycle. Sure you could try to get various charities to directly pick up your stuff, you could arrange for one to pick it up from your curb or you could just leave stuff on your curb. In the later two cases chances are someone not the charity you called will end up with some of your items which is, I guess, recycling of a sort but calling EcoHaul to come two days before my movers arrived was a fantastic solution for me. For a fairly reasonable fee (I think at least) they took away a whole range of items I had long wanted to donate to a charity, a bunch of older electronics which would be hard to dispose of safely and they arrived on time and were highly efficient throughout the whole process. Later this month I’ll receive an itemized donation receipt from them for the items which they could give to charities.

The iPhone Application – BookScouter they do have a website as well but it is the simple yet effective iPhone application which has been highly helpful over the past week. Before this move I owned over 2000 books. While I have been packing and unpacking those books I have been evaluating whether I want to still own a each book as I unpack it. With the books I decided I no longer needed I have been selling many of them at two of my favorite local bookstores for store credit. What Bookscouter does is scan book barcodes or look up by ISBN number a given book and then display for you the prices at which a number of different websites will buy back that book from you. Many of these sites specialize in textbooks so they will not buy many books but by using Bookscouter to scan my books I have pulled aside nearly 50 books and will end up seeing probably over $200 back on top of the nearly $300 in store credit I have received from the books I have already sold to local bookstores.

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Cool ideas and links – coworking, cooking and more

Posted by shannonclark on April 4, 2011

I have been slow to blog in the past few months so my goal for April is starting today (April 4th) to post at least one blog post to one of my blogs at least 5-6 times a week. Besides my personal blog here the other places I likely will be blogging include Slow Brand and the blog for wwbll my new startup venture.

Cool ideas and links for today:

  • New office space for startups in SOMA- Storetek Building – this looks to be a very nice new space, not the best of locations (but not the worst), no idea what the price of rent in the space will be or how many startups will be there but it is good to hear about another large space and venue possibility in SF
  • Speaking of new venue spaces – Cookhouse SF recently opened here in SF. It is a brilliant business (one that I had thoughts about myself a while back) – it is a fully outfitted serious kitchen and entertaining space located in North Beach here in SF where you can rent the space by the house, get help stocking the kitchen if you need it, and cook for (or with) your guests and entertain in style. A perfect business for an urban environment where many people do not have big kitchens or space for a dinner party for 24 friends. They offer rates by the hour, auctions for busy times around the holidays and a membership program which offers discounts to events and other benefits. One link to them I read today mentioned that they may also be offering a co-working space/wifi cafe, something I will have to follow closely but in general I love this whole idea and will be following this carefully (and fully expect to host a dinner party there sometime later in 2011)

I have spent the day at the Data 2.0 Conference here in SF. Which has had a bunch of interesting announcements and product launches amongst great keynotes and panel discussions. Two in particular stood out as services and applications which I will be using in the future.

  • 3taps.com which is a venture from one of the early investors in Twitter is now live and the founder gave a great talk and presentation on stage. They are a service which is taking lots of websites with postings of some kind and by considering that they are facts and thus can be considered public domain knowledge (which I suspect may lead them to some legal challenges which I hope they eventually win) are aggregating postings from sites such as EBay, Craigslist and many other places across the web. Turning these into a firehouse of near realtime updates. As a demonstration of their capabilities they have created an iPhone app Craiggers which offers search across multiple geographies of all of Craigslist, something which the actual website does not allow you to do. They have also launched a self-branded app 3Taps which offers full access to all of the datasets they are collecting. Both are very cool and I’ve installed them on my iPhone today.
  • Twitter and MediaShift got up on stage after lunch to announce the launch of Datasift which offers curated and filtered access, on demand to the full Twitter firehouse (as well as other data but that last bit wasn’t mentioned on stage today). Exceptionally cool and looks to be something I’ll be using as soon as later this week.

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